CFL commissioner clears way for Johnny Manziel to play in league

Johnny Manziel may not play in the NFL again, but he could get another opportunity – in Canada.

On Thursday, the Canadian Football League released a statement saying that league commissioner Randy Ambrosie would approve a contract for Manziel if he were offered one.

The statement reads:

Johnny Tiger-Cat? The CFL commissioner has cleared the way for Johnny Manziel to sign with the league if he’s offered a contract. (AP)

“Since last summer, the Canadian Football League has been engaged in a thorough process to determine the eligibility of Johnny Manziel. This process has been conducted with the cooperation of Mr. Manziel and independent of the team which currently holds his CFL rights, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“It has included an ongoing assessment by an independent expert on the issue of violence against women, a review by legal counsel, and an in-person interview of Mr. Manziel conducted by the Commissioner. As well, Mr. Manziel has been required to meet a number of conditions set by the league.

“As a result of this process, the Commissioner has now informed Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats he is prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel should one be negotiated.

“The process that led to this decision does, however, will continue. Mr. Manziel has been informed he must continue to meet a number of conditions in order to remain eligible. These conditions, while extensive and exacting, remain confidential.”

The Tiger-Cats, who were just 6-12 in 2017, have worked out Manziel and currently hold exclusive negotiation rights. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli started 12 games for the Tiger-Cats this year, leading them to all of their wins after an 0-8 start under Zach Collaros. Masoli, who played for Oregon and Ole Miss, has spent five seasons with the club and is set to be a free agent in February.

Hamilton’s head coach is June Jones; the former NFL coach told the CFL’s podcast, The Waggle, that he believes Manziel could be the greatest player the CFL has ever seen.

“I think he’d be the best player to ever play up here,” Jones said. “He can throw it and he can run it like nobody ever has been able to do.”

It’s almost two years to the day since Manziel’s last meaningful snap: his last game with the Cleveland Browns was Dec. 27, 2015.